Award of benefits to disabled janitor is reversed by higher court.
Krenda Selask sued the Public School Employees Retirement System after she was denied disability payments. She worked as a custodian for the Hanover-Horton Public Schools for ten years when, in 2007, she began to suffer low back pain. Initially, her restrictions on heavy work were accommodated, however, in 2008 her doctor told her she needed to give up her work due to spinal stenosis, a disc protrusion and herniation in the lumbar levels of her spine.
Relying on an "independent doctor's medical examination" (i.e., an insurance doctor's report from a doctor regularly hired by insurers to contest real doctor's findings) the Retirement Board held that Selask was not "totally and permanently" disabled and not entitled to benefits. The Circuit Court heard her appeal and overturned the Board's decision. When the Public School Employees Retirement System appealed, the Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court and held that the trial judge had exceeded his authority in overturning the Board's decision. If there was "substantial evidence" to support the Board's decision, it was binding on the Circuit Court, whether right or wrong.